Well, the last roll of HP5 shot with my Minolta X-700 was a total waste.
The shutter is not operating properly, and repairing would probably cost far more than purchasing another one; so now I've decided to focus my attention on acquiring a MF kit. I've received lots of good suggestions and recommendations from people here. One question remains:
Learning to compose and focus with a WLF for the MF newbie. I've heard that the image is upside down and reversed, so for a newbie, I suppose this would be quite foreign and a little difficult to get use to. I wonder how many rolls of film I'd have to go through before I got the technique down.